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02-24-2005, 11:06 PM

'Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz

'Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz was born of a royal family, his father being the governor of the province of Egypt. When he came of age, he was himself appointed as the governor of the province of Egypt by the Umayyads. His mother was the granddaughter of ‘Umar bin al-Khattab and he was born hardly fifty years after the death of the Prophet (†). This was a time when a large number of the holy Prophet’s companions were still living. His education started with a training in hadith and fiqh and soon he came to be recognised as a first-rate muhaddith and faqih. Hence he could easily differentiate between monarchy and the Khilafah.

At the age of 37, he acquired the throne by mere accident and suddenly he came to realise the great burden of responsibility that had fallen on his shoulders. This accident changed him outright and he chose Islam against the path of ignorance. As soon as he was seated in authority, he dismissed the false-ruling pride, the court practices of worldly kings and all other show of power and authority and pledged himself to lead the life of a true Khalifa of Muslims. All the estates in possession of the royal family including his own were returned to public treasury, all properties moveable and immoveable that had been unlawfully seized were restored to their rightful owners. As a result of this his personal treasury suffered a heavy loss. The annual income of 50,000 diners was reduced to 200 dinars. After setting in order the family and household affairs he turned to reform the system of government. He removed unjust governors from office and launched a search for righteous men to replace them.

1) He reformed the whole policy pertaining to taxation and abolished all the unlawful taxes including the duty on distilleries that had been imposed by the Umayyads.

2) He re-organised and reformed the system of collecting Zakah.

3) He opened the state treasury for general public works.

4) He compensated and remedied all injustices which had been administered to the non-Muslims, restored their unlawfully seized houses of worship, released their lands and granted them their rights and privileges under the Shari‘ah.

5) He made the judiciary independent of the executive.

6) He removed all the shadows of royal influence which generally cast a slur on the administration of justice and enforced the Islamic principles of equity and fair-play instead.

7) He checked the propagation of unislamic beliefs and made large scale arrangements of education for the masses and drew attention the of the intelligentsia towards the sciences of the Qur’an and fiqh, thereby succeeding in generating a powerful intellectual movement which eventually produced great authorities in Islam of the calibre of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi‘i and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal.

8) He revived the true spirit of practising Shari‘ah and discouraged all ease-loving tendencies that had taken root among the people during the monarchic rule.

Thus was he able to bring back a sense of justice and piety to the Ummah.

“When we gave them authority in the earth, they strive to establish Salah, make arrangement for collecting Zakah, enforced good and forbade evil.” (22:41)

It is said that during the reign of Walid, the people would meet and talk about buildings and gardens. Under Suleman bin ‘Abdul Malik their main interest was romance and procreation, but when ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz became Khalifah conditions quickly changed and Salah, fasting and Qur’an became the popular subject for conversation. The non-Muslims were so much impressed by his rule that then they embraced Islam in their thousands.

With some reform under way, the Khalifah turned his attention to the neighbouring non-Muslim states and exhorted them to accept the Islam which a number of them did. This first mujaddid of Islam worked hardly for two and a half years and during this brief period he was able to revolutionise life in all its various aspects. However it was not long before the Umayyads turned against this pious man. They saw their death in the life of Islam and therefore could not tolerate the work of his revival. They conspired against him and poisoned him at a young age of 39.

When the Khalifah died the Roman emperor is reported to have said:

“I should not be the least surprised if a monk renounces the world and busies himself in worship behind closed doors, but I am simply amazed at this man who has a vast empire at his feet but he rejected it and lived the life of a monk.”

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02-24-2005, 11:07 PM

Advice to Umar bin Abdul Aziz from al-Hasan
Recorded by Ibn Abd Rabbiji (d AH 328 / AD 940)
Taken from The Necklace (an enclopedic anthology)

When Umar ibn Abdul Aziz became caliph, he wrote to Hasan al-Basree to write him the description of a just Imaam, and Hasan wrote him:

"Know, commander of Believers, that God has made the just Imaam the prop of every learner, the straightener of every deviator, the reform of all corrupt, the strength of all weak, the justice of all oppressed, the refuge of all who are pitied. The just Imaam, O commander of Believers, is like a herdsman, solicitous for the camels he tends, desiring the sweetest pasture for them, driving them away from any dangerous grazing place, protecting them from beast of prey, and shielding them from the harms of heat and cold.

And the just Imaam, commander of the Believers, is the guardian of the orphan, and the treasury of the poor, fostering the little ones, and providing for the old ones. The just Imaam, Commander of Believers, is as the heart is to the members of the body: all are sound when it is sound, and all corrupt when it is corrupt. The just Imaam, commander of Believers, stands intermediary between God and His servants; hearkening to God's words, and making them hearken; looking to God, and making them to look; obedient to God and making them obedient.

Therefore commander of Believers, act not in what God the Mighty and Glorious has given you like a slave whose master has trusted him and given into his care his wealth and his children, who then squanders his master's wealth and drives his children away, and reduces the family to poverty and scatters their fortune.

And know, commander of the Believers, that God has sent down (His prescription for) the legal punishments to chide (people) away from wickedness and immorality. How shall it be, if he who administers them, deserves them? And He sent down (the law of) retaliation to give life to His servants. How will it be if the man who gives them retaliation puts them to death?

Remember, O commander of Believers, death and what comes after it, and how few partisans you have there, or aids against it. Therefore make provision for death, and against the greater terror which follows it.

And know, commander of Believers, that there is a place for you other than the place where you are now. Your stay there will be long, and your friends will be separated from you. You will be committed to its depths as a completely solitary individual. Therefore, make provision of what you may take with you - 'On the day when a man shall flee from his brother, his mother, his father, his consort, his sons' (80:36), and remember, commander of Believers, 'When that which is within the tombs shall be cast out, and that which is in the breasts exposed' (100:9), when secrets are made manifest, and 'The record leaves nothing, great or small, without numbering it' (18:49).

And now, commander of Believers, you are in leisure, before the dissolution of death and the serving of hope. Therefore commander of Believers, do not give judgement among the servants of God according to the usages of pre Islamic period (bi hokum al jahilan), and do not travel the way of transgressors with them, and do not put he arrogant in power over the humble, for such will not watch over any believer or the protected religious groups (dhimma), so that you will have to acknowledge your own faults and the faults of others, and bear your own burdens and other burdens too. Do not be deceived by those who would lead a pleasant like by causing damage to you, and eat the good things of this world by causing the good things of your afterlife to disappear. And do not regard your power in this world, but look toward what will be your power when you are captive in the bonds of death, and forced to stand before God Most High in the company of the angels and prophets and apostles, and faces are turned to the Living and Self-subsisting One.

And I, O commander of Believers, though I have not attained by my rigors what prudent men attained before me, yet have not desisted from offering you solicitude and advice, sending you my letter as a doctor causes a beloved friend to drink disagreeable medicine, because he hopes to offer him health and soundness.

And peace be upon thee, O commander of the Believers, and the mercy of God, and His blessing."

[Source: Williams (1971), Themes of Islamic Civilisation, from, Al Iqd al Farid, Cairo, 1953]

12-05-2005, 03:30 AM

'Umar ibn 'Abdul-'Azeez: Khaleefah of the Taabi'een

When 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-Azeez became Ameer-ul-Mu'mineen (the Leader of the Muslims), he refused to inherit the leadership like his predecessor and asked the Muslims to select a leader for the country. They chose him. And delegations from all parts of the Muslim world came to pledge allegiance to 'Umar. When it was time for the Hijaaz (the western part of Arabia) delegation to speak, a very young man came forward but 'Umar told him, "Let an older person speak." Hearing that, the young man said, "A person is nothing but his two smallest organs, his heart and his tongue. If Allaah gave someone a heart that is good at understanding and a tongue that is good at speaking, he deserves and should be allowed to speak. But if matters are judged according to age then there are others in the Ummah who deserve to be in your place today." Umar liked what he heard and was surprised to learn that the young man was eleven years of age.
(Al Jumuah Magazine, Muharram/Safar 1419)

According to Abdallaah bin Bakr bin Habeeb al Sahmee:
We were told by a man in the masjid of al Junaabidh that 'Umar bin 'Abd al 'Azeez delivered a khutbah to the people in Khunaasirah in which he said:

"O people, you were not created in vain, nor will you be left to yourselves" [Qur'an 75:36].

Rather, you will return to a place in which Allah, Subhannah wa Ta'aala, will descend in order to judge among you and distinguish between you.

Destitute and lost are those who forsake the all-encompassing Mercy of Allah Ta'aala, and they will be excluded from Jannah, the borders of which are as wide as the heavens and the earth.

Don't you know that protection, tomorrow, will be limited to those who feared Allah [today], and to those who sold something ephemeral for something permanent, something small for something great, and fear for protection?

Don't you realize that you are the descendants of those who have perished, that those who remain will take their place after you, and that this will continue until you are all returned to Allah Ta'aala?...

Everyday you dispatch to Allah Ta'aala, at all times of the day, someone who has died, his term having come to an end; You bury him in a crack in the earth and then leave him without a pillow or a bed. He has parted from his loved ones, severed his connections with the living, and taken up residence in the earth, whereupon he comes face to face with the accounting. He is mortgaged to his deeds:

He needs his accomplishments, but not the material things he left on earth.

Therefore, fear Allah before death descends and its appointed times expire. I swear by Allah that I say those words to you knowing that I myself have committed more sins than any of you; I therefore ask Allah Subhannah wa Ta'aala for forgiveness and I repent.

Whenever we learn that one of you needs something, I try to satisfy his need to the extent that I am able. Whenever I can provide satisfaction to one of you out of my possessions, I seek to treat him as my equal and my relative, so that my life and his life are of equal value.

I swear by Allah that had I wanted something else, namely, affluence, then it would have been easy for me to utter the word, aware as I am of the means for obtaining this.

But Allah Ta'aala has issued in an eloquent Book and a just example (The Sunnah) by means of which He guides us to obedience, and prescribes disobedience."

He ('Umar Ibn 'Abdul Azeez) lifted up the edge of his robe and began to cry and sob, causing the people around him to break into tears. Then he stepped down...

That was the last sermon he gave before he died, may Allah have Mercy on him."
(For variant versions of this sermon, see Ibn 'Abd al Hakam, Seerah 43-45, 132-33; Ibn Katheer, Bidaayah, IX, 199; This translation was taken from The History of al Tabaree, Vol XXIV, by D.S.Powers)

12-05-2005, 03:30 AM
In the same book, it is also related that,
According to 'Abdallaah - his father - al-Fudayl - 'Abdallaah: I was told that 'Umar bin 'Abd al Azeez wrote to the Syrian army as follows:
"As Salaamu 'alaykum wa Rahmatullaah.

Now then, whoever contemplates death frequently, speaks little, while he who knows that death is certain, is satisfied with a little.


According to Mansoor bin Muzaahim - Shu'ayb, that is, Ibn Safwaan - Ibn 'Abd al-Hameed: 'Umar ibn 'Abd al 'Azeez said:
"He who gives sincere advice to his brother in matters of religion and looks out for the well being of the latter's daily affairs has fulfilled his brotherly obligation, and carried out the duty that was incumbent upon him.

Ittaqillaah (Fear Allah)...

Accept these words, for they are offered as sincere advice to you with regard to your religion; and cling fast to them, for they constitute a warning that will save you in the afterlife.

The sustenance has been apportioned; therefore, let no believer exceed what has been apportioned to him, and be united in seeking the good.

In contentment there is abundance, substinence, and sufficiency.

The term of this life is in your necks, and Jahannam lies before you. What you see will pass away, what has been is as if it never was, and all will soon be dead. You have seen the stages of the dying man, both when he is in the agony of death, and then after his demise when he has tasted death and the people all around him are saying, "He has passed away, May Allah Ta'aala have mercy on his soul."

You have witnessed the hasty manner in which he is removed, and the division of his estate, when his face is lost, his memory forgotten, and his doorway forsaken, as if he had not mixed with those who keep their word, nor inhabited the lands.

Therefore, beware the horror of a day on which not so much as the weight of an ant on the scale will be despised."

According to 'Abd al Rahmaan bin Mahdee - Sufyaan: 'Umar bin 'Abd al 'Azeez said:

"He who acts without knowledge causes more corruption than good, and he who does not consider his speech to be part of his actions sins repeatedly. Satisfaction is scarce, and the true believer should rely on sabr (patience).

Allah Ta'aala never bestowed a blessing upon one of His servants and then took it away from him, giving him sabr in return for that which was taken away, except that the replacement was better than what was taken away from him."

Then he recited the following verse:

"Surely the patient will be paid their wages in full without reckoning."[Qur'an 39:10]

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Ummu Sufyaan
11-14-2007, 12:22 PM
format_quote Originally Posted by Jawharah

But Allah Ta'aala has issued in an eloquent Book and a just example (The Sunnah) by means of which He guides us to obedience, and prescribes disobedience."
jazakallahu khair. nice posts.
have i missed something here. is it just me, or does that not make sense.

02-02-2014, 05:51 PM

Nur Student
02-04-2014, 02:52 AM
He was a great Caliph.

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